Now I'm on the Ref Desk. #LibDay8

Today felt like a more hectic day than yesterday, since I had a reference desk shift. I was doing a lot of things, but then at the end of the day, I kind of felt like I didn’t have much to show for it. Today’s recap will be told in bullet-point format.

  • Started out in the morning with an email telling me that I would have a meeting early next week – in my office – with a member of the ABA-reaccreditation team that is evaluating the law school for which I work. That was kind of stressful; we didn’t think we’d be having individual meetings and boy, is my office messy. You may recall that last time LibDay rolled around, we were in the midst of a giant office re-carpeting and subsequent temporary relocation, and (I’m ashamed to admit this) my office still is filled with boxes that I have yet to unpack. And, because this week is all about doing stuff for the class I teach, for a presentation in another class, and working on my local law librarian association newsletter, I’m not sure that my office is going to get clean. Oh! And it’s my turn to clean up the office kitchen. Sorry ABA site-inspector person, but you may have to sit on a box of books.
  • Scheduled tweets for the morning/early afternoon. There wasn’t a lot of meaty stuff to choose from today. I don’t have any specific formula for why I tweet the things I tweet; I just “know it when I see it.” I try to not be limited to the topics that personally interest me, though. And I usually try to get some non-law tweets in there, especially if it’s a slow day.

  • Did some more work on the association newsletter. I think tomorrow I’ll just need to add the photos that the editors have approved and it should be done.
  • At some point in there, I went down to sit on the reference desk. I had several student questions today:
    • A Moot Court student wanted help in finding briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court so that he could see how to format his. I showed him the LibGuide that my colleague and I prepared for the ILR class, and pointed out the tab on Federal Judicial Resources. I talked to him about the different options for finding briefs, and we pulled up a couple from the ABA site. I also encouraged him to look at the Supreme Court Rules. I think he walked away happy.
    • Helped another Moot Court student with substantive tax research needs regarding deductions for certain medical procedures, and when plastic surgery is covered and when it isn’t. Spent quite a bit of time with him, as it’s a relatively novel issue. Introduced him to our BNA tax databases, where he could search with the U.S.C. citation and quickly gather a bunch of materials related to it (I consider that a personal victory, as we just recently had training on the BNA databases, which I hardly ever use, but which are used all the time in practice). Also helped him find secondary sources in addition to the law review articles he’d found.
    • Helped a Law Review student locate a journal that he couldn’t find – by searching for it in our catalog, which linked us directly to the specific journal in one of our electronic databases. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways.
    • Helped a clinic student find some real estate materials that would help her explain “options to buy” to a client. Introduced her to the Minnesota CLE online database.
  • Retrieved three journal articles for an adjunct professor (out of a list of several articles which I had found for him earlier). Was again feeling personally triumphant because I was able to download two of them from an open-source source, rather than having to use a subscription database. Not that we pay for them on a per-use basis, but just because it felt good not to be so depending on the big vendors.

And – now I’m exhausted. ‘Til tomorrow.


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